Darian Durant has enjoyed being a full-time father, but if the right call came he would consider a CFL comeback.
“Of course. My main reason for retiring was to be with my daughter and not anything else. I’m healthy and I still throw three to four times a week and I still work out every day,” Durant told Murry McCormick of the Regina Leader-Post.
Durant has 12 years of CFL experience, 11 with the Riders. He’s thrown for 31,740 yards and 167 touchdowns in 174 games (128 starts) and currently sits 14th all-time in league passing yards. He played in three Grey Cup games with the Riders, winning the 101st edition in Regina to end the 2013 season.
“Who knows what the future holds for next year? I waited until I was 35 to have my first child and I’ve been playing football my whole life. It was time for me to put football on the back burner and give someone else my time, which is my family. Now that I’ve done that, we’ll see what next year hold,” Durant said.
Durant’s final season with the Riders was tumultuous with discussions about his future in Saskatchewan dominating the conversation. Current head coach and general manager Chris Jones referred to him as a “moderately successful” quarterback and while Durant said he wanted to stay, relationships were clearly strained. Jones ultimately traded Durant’s rights to the Montreal Alouettes even after the veteran pivot was willing to take a pay cut to stay in green and white.
“Some things were said about me personally that were uncalled for. To blame all the losses or wins if you want on one guy was the last straw,” Durant said after being traded to Montreal on CKRM.
The 36-year-old struggled with the Alouettes last season, winning just three times in 15 starts and throwing 16 interceptions against 15 touchdowns. But he’s had time to reflect since the trade from Saskatchewan.
“I’m over that. When you go through things, you’re emotional and you don’t have time to sit back and analyze everything. As you get older, you separate yourself from the situation. You realize that it was just business and it’s like anything else in life. If your boss doesn’t like you or there is a better guy for the position and he decides to move on from you, it’s part of the business. I didn’t understand it at the time, because I thought I had a lot to give,” Durant said.
Durant complemented Jones saying he was ‘doing a great job’ and fantasized about the possibilities of playing with the Riders squad Jones put together.
“If I had had a chance to get Duron Carter and all of the other receivers that (general manager and head coach Chris Jones) brought in, I thought about the possibilities of the magic that could be done,” Durant said.
“That made me bitter when you see these receivers and the team that he put together and the only thing missing was a quarterback. He is going to run the team whatever way that he sees fit. As a player, I have to respect that.”